Search for this course View Courses Now

Get Our Newsletter!

* indicates required

Advertise Boating Courses

Advertise Courses

Course FAQ's: RYA Helmsman Practical

How much will the RYA Helmsman Practical course cost including exam fees?

Up to £500/665 EUROS/$750 depending on the time of year and where you take it.

What will you get out of this course?

This teaches you how to be a useful crewmember on a motor cruiser.

You will learn about engines, pilotage and passage making, but also how to drive the boat safely in a variety of conditions and at different speeds.

You will also learn essential safety procedures from fire below to man overboard manoeuvres.

What are your limits on passing it?

You will be able to helm a motor cruiser in sheltered waters in daylight hours, and be familiar with the essential elements of driving such a vessel. You can only qualify once over the age of 12.

Is it onshore theory, practical or both?

Though much of the Helmsman Practical course is practical there are a number of theory elements that you will learn whilst doing it. For instance, the Collision Regulations, buoyage, lights and Rules of the Road are theoretical where pilotage and engine maintenance are practical. 

Where can you take the course?

You can take it wherever in the world the course is offered by a qualified RYA instructor. 

Can you do the Helmsman in another country?


What level of experience do you need before you begin this?

You need no experience – just a willingness to learn. Considering the price this is generally a course for someone who wants to get serious about motor cruising!

How long does it take to complete?

This is a two day course, with a night aboard as part of the package.

What does the course involve?

On the theoretical side you will learn, amongst other things, the essentials of the Collision Regulations, Rules of the Road, buoyage, lights and various elements of engine maintenance. You will also look at basic passage planning.

On the practical side you will cover how to pilot a boat with single or twin screws, outboard and inboard engine maintenance, and driving the boat at speed and at low speed.

You will also dock and undock a lot while learning how to come alongside, as well as to a buoy mooring. You will also learn about anchoring.

Finally you will cover elements of safety such as fire, engine failure, and man overboard.

How do I progress after completing the RYA Helmsman Practical course?

You can get some more experience as a crewmember on a motor cruiser before progressing to the RYA Day Skipper (Motor) that deals with the disciplines involved to a far greater depth. Have a look at what is available on the RYA website here.

Does it give you international accreditation?

Though the course doesn’t specifically give international accreditation, the RYA has a good reputation throughout the world - many countries and charter companies recognise this qualification.

Where can I learn more about this course?

Have a look at this syllabus for a good idea what the course is about. Look around our website to find out where to take the course.

Search for this course View Courses Now